Dark Matter landed at Toronto’s Fan Expo 2015 with a bang on the Canadian multi-genre convention’s opening day. Hundreds of fans lined up to see Anthony Lemke (Three), Alex Mallari Jr. (Four) and Jodelle Ferland (Five) in a panel moderated by InnerSPACE personalities Teddy Wilson and Ajay Fry.
Taking place just days after the announcement that Dark Matter was officially renewed for a second season, the panel was as much about thanking the fans as it was about meeting them. The actors took the opportunity to show their appreciation for the fans’ devotion to the show, which they said would not have had a second season without them.
We were lucky enough to attend the panel and, while the actors swear they know next to nothing about Season 2, we did get a few insights into Dark Matter‘s future, as well as some fun tidbits about their experience making Season 1.
The final scene was the last one they filmed
The actors really aren’t lying when they say they’re often kept in the dark. They revealed that showrunner Joseph Mallozzi, who they affectionately refer to as their “Puppet Master,” went so far as to create mock costume fittings for each actor, where they would all try on what was essentially the “traitor mask,” to throw them off the scent.
So when did they learn the truth? “We didn’t find out until the last day,” Mallari Jr. said. “It was literally the last thing that we shot.”
Ferland also revealed that even before filming the final scene, Mallozzi brought them into a meeting where he sat them down to finally reveal the traitor; but not before dragging it out a little more. “Joe made a big deal of out it,” Ferland explained. “He would walk to each person and be like, ‘it’s… not you.'”
We may see Sarah again
One of Three’s most powerful episodes of the season was the one in which he met his lost love Sarah (guest star Natalie Brown), before she sadly lost her life to an incurable illness. Lemke revealed that it may not have been the last we see of her.
“Joe [Mallozzi] has pitched Paul [Mullie] a story about potentially continuing that storyline on in a really awesome and cool way that’s consistent with Dark Matter,” he said. “[Five] was hanging around the box where Sarah was and we don’t know what she was going to do.”
Of course, that was all we could get out of Lemke, before Ferland quickly stopped him from revealing any more Season 2 spoilers. However, Lemke added that Mullie wasn’t completely sold on the idea, so we’ll have to wait and see if Mallozzi’s plans come to fruition.
The Puppet Masters don’t have everything figured out quite yet
Continuing on from his Sarah reveal, Lemke pointed out that, while they have five seasons planned out, they are still leaving room for changes. “The crazy dude at the end with the mask and the Darth Vader voice, reading off the curiously 1970s script off the screen, that was not part of the original plan,” he said. “It evolved throughout.”
He also revealed that Zoie Palmer’s Android had a much smaller role in the beginning of the series, which expanded as the season went, thanks to Palmer’s terrific performance.
The moment that shocked one cast member
One of the most revealing character moments in the season was when Four murdered his old mentor, Akita (Russell Yuen). During the panel Mallari Jr. revealed that he was just as shocked as viewers. “He spilled his beans about how he was a father to me, and I kill him,” Mallari Jr. said. “Our puppet masters have a lot to explain about that.”
By the end of the season, Four was adamant about reclaiming his crown and retaking the throne on his home world of Zairon, which Mallari says we will definitely revisit in Season 2. “[Four] keeps wanting to go back,” he said. “I think he wants to go to Zairon and see what happens from then on.”
Lemke also posed an interesting question to Mallari Jr., asking if he would prefer becoming emperor if it meant leaving the Raza. “So you’re asking do I want to stay on Dark Matter or have my own spin-off?” Mallari joked, quickly following up with the promise that he’d choose the Raza.
Ah, the beauty of acting from a computer screen. The actors revealed that they never met guest star Hewlett, who plays the untrustworthy Talbor Calchek, on set. “He shot his stuff on one set; we weren’t allowed to touch him or watch him or something, I don’t know what it was,” Lemke said. “We would watch the stuff that he did on the computer and then we’d go and act our scene staring in front of a green screen.”
The one exception is Ferland, who guest starred on Stargate: Atlantis, where Hewlett made his name as Dr. McKay. So will that all change with Season 2? They certainly hope so. “I would love it if he showed up on the actual Raza,” Lemke said.
Four’s martial arts skills were a little rusty at first
Mallari Jr. spent much of his childhood practising Taekwondo at a competitive level, but stopped in high school to pursue basketball. “Dark Matter was the first time I threw a kick in a long time, and I remember pulling my groin muscle,” he revealed.
Besides Taekwondo, Mallari Jr. had no experience using swords, so he had to quickly learn the skill in order to pull off Four’s masterful abilities, which included wielding them with his eyes closed.
We haven’t seen all of the Raza
If it looks like the crew are always walking down the same hallway, you’re right, according to Ferland. However, Lemke says that the showrunners revealed to him that there is more of the Raza that we haven’t explored yet. Of course, Mallari Jr. didn’t hesitate to point out the flaw in that plan. “I thought we checked everything,” he joked, referring to the finale. “We said we checked everything and that’s why we went in the vents!”
Thirteen is Dark Matter‘s lucky number
While the actors don’t know too much about next season, Lemke was able to unofficially confirm that Season 2 would contain 13 episodes, on par with Season 1. Of course, this was after he joked that there would be 322 episodes for next season.
It seems the actors are ready for several years of Dark Matter. Mallozzi himself has stated how he has five seasons mapped out, but the actors joked that they’re up for at least 10, “and a movie,” Mallari Jr. added.
Are the crew from Earth?
The final question of the panel was posed by one of Lemke’s own daughters, who wondered whether we would ever see Earth on the show. It opened up a discussion about whether or not Earth exists, or if the crew even originates from Earth. Either way, it’s definitely something they’d like to see addressed in the future. “I think it would be really awesome if we went back, especially if it’s really different than what it is in our reality,” Ferland said.
Associate Editor Kelly Townsend always had strong opinions on TV growing up, so it was only natural to evolve from couch musings to online journalism. She can't ever choose a favorite series, so please don't ask. Her writing has also appeared on IndieWire and Tribute.ca. You can find her on Twitter at @kellybtownsend.